LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology, and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United States. Residential LEDs — especially ENERGY STAR rated products — use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.
Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices.
LED lighting is currently available in a wide variety of home and industrial products, and the list is growing every year. The rapid development of LED technology leads to more products and improved manufacturing efficiency, which also results in lower prices.
Unlike incandescent bulbs, which release 90 percent of their energy as heat, LEDs use energy far more efficiently with little wasted heat.
The high efficiency and directional nature of LEDs makes them ideal for many industrial uses. LEDs are increasingly common in street lights, parking garage lighting, walkway and other outdoor area lighting, refrigerated case lighting, modular lighting, and task lighting
Recessed downlights are commonly used in a number of office and commercial settings. DOE estimates there are at least 500 million recessed downlights installed, and more than 20 million are sold each year. LED technology can decrease downlight wattage by 75% or more providing greater efficiency with dramatically lower costs.
Back in 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. — saving about $675 million in annual energy costs. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.